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Context with Brad Harris

History • Education

What led to the rise of the modern world? How have we made so much progress, and what are its consequences? What are humanity's best ideas? Join award-winning historian Brad Harris as he engages these fundamental questions and interprets the biggest historical forces that shape their answers, fromRead more

Popular episodes

Urban Versus Rural

Jun 1 • 31:41

There’s a lot that’s dividing Americans right now - lots of divisive narratives that have captivated lots of people. One of those narratives features the apparent widening political divide between urban and rural culture. But, the truth is that the evolution of America’s urban and rural communities has always been symbiotic....

Notes On Tribalism

Apr 26 • 22:30

"Notes on Nationalism" was an essay written by George Orwell in 1945, just as World War II was ending. It caused quite a stir at the time, but most people these days have never heard of it. Nonetheless, "Notes on Nationalism" remains one of the most powerful examples of Orwell's timeless insight into human nature; in this case, focused on our instinct to gang up on each ot...

The Fate of Universities

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Like many others, I’ve begun to worry about the fate of higher education in American society....

Explaining Postmodernism: A Conversation with Stephen Hicks

Jan 25 • 01:01:19

In this episode, I invited the philosopher and author Stephen Hicks on the podcast to chat about his book, Explaining Postmodernism.  Stephen has been a Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University in Illinois for nearly 20 years, and he's published widely on the history of philosophy, ethics, and politics.  ...

Escaping the Cycle of History

Dec 21 • 33:49

What’s that line attributed to Mark Twain?......

Reflections from A Distant Mirror

Oct 26 • 39:52

Plague, political upheaval, the looming prospect of another civil war... what century are we in?...


Sep 14 • 26:45

I went slightly mad producing this episode. But then, the line between our reality and the fiction of 1984 has become far too blurry for my comfort....

All Things Being Equal

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"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it."...

Approximating Perfection

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It's hard to remember how intelligent humanity can be when we are relentlessly bombarded by bad news. Author and mathematician Steven Strogatz helps to remind us with his recent book, Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe....

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Jun 5 • 20:53

Carl Sagan was a brilliant popularizer of science.  His book, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, helps to inspire clear thinking when chaos reigns supreme.  Here, I share my thoughts on the important themes of that work.  ...

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